Talmis’ visit to San Diego prompts special JCC programming
By Eileen Wingard
LA JOLLA, California–When word got out that Israeli conductor Yoav Talmi and his wife Er’ella would be visiting San Diego for a few days during the second week of January, JCC Program Director Jackie G’mach invited the internationally acclaimed maestro to speak at the Lawrence Family JCC under the auspices of the Astor Judaica Library. Given the importance of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) which has supported the training of virtually every professional Israeli musician, including Yoav and Er’ella, Jackie and a specially formed planning committee invited the AICF to co-sponsor the evening. The date was set for Monday, January 11, 2010. The evening was to be divided into two segments.
Yoav will present an historical overview of orchestras in Israel and reflect on the “Wagner Question” at a free lecture in the Lawrence Family JCC at 7:30 p.m. The program will also include a brief video of the maestro’s life, with musical score by Yoav’s son Gil, and three settings of Ghetto Songs by Yoav, performed by Sarah Tuck, flute, Edmund Stein, violin, Dorothy Zeavin, viola and Marcia Bookstein, cello, all members of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to the lecture, there will be a dinner in the Astor Judaica Library at 6:00 p.m. honoring the Talmis. Dinner reservations are $72.00 per plate with proceeds going to the AICF and the Astor Judaica Library. The reservation deadline has been extended. Seating is limited.
Yoav, former conductor of the San Diego Symphony (l987-96) is now in his eleventh season as conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec .
During a tour of Canada celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ensemble, critics lauded the Israeli maestro and his orchestra, calling their work “one of Canada’s orchestral success stories,”(Toronto Star) and their performance a “tour-de-force,” (Vancouver Sun).
Canada has showered Talmi with many awards, including an honorary doctorate from the Universite Laval of Quebec; the Quebec City Medal for his special contribution to the city’s 400 anniversary celebrations; and, most recently, making him an Officer of the National Order of Quebec. In March, 2008, Talmi conducted an historical performance of Mahler’s 8tth Symphony (Symphony of a Thousand) to celebrate Quebec City’s 400th anniversary. He had 1000 performers, with four orchestras, 15 choirs and 8 soloists for a spectacle that attracted an audience of 12,000 in Quebec’s coliseum.
The Talmis continue to make their home in Kfar Saba, Israel. In his homeland, Yoav serves as permanent guest conductor of the Israel Chamber Orchestra, a group with which he has long been affiliated, having been their music director from 1984 to 1988. Er’ella was also the principal flute of the ICO. Yoav has accepted the post of Conducting Professor at the Mehta-Buchmann School of Music at Tel Aviv University, so that he can pass on his conducting expertise to the younger generation. In 2008, he was awarded the Frank Pelleg Prize of the Israeli Cultural Ministry for his high level of artistic achievements over many years. Israel is indeed proud of their outstanding musical ambassador.
Talmi has an impressive discography, including an all-Berlioz cycle with the San Diego Symphony. His recording of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony won the prestigious “Grand Prix du Disque” in Paris. He continues his extensive guest conducting for major orchestras throughout the world.
Er’ella Talmi recently retired from her career as flutist, having served in orchestras, played in chamber music ensembles and performed as soloist. She also arranged many chamber music programs, led workshops and served as an adjudicator at competitions. Currently, inspired by her two grandchildren, she is writing children’s books.
To reserve for the dinner with the Talmis, send check made out to: LFJCC/Library and mail to: Susan Hagler, JCC Library, 4126 Executive Dr. La Jolla, CA 92037.
Wingard is a freelance writer and former violinist with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra